Navigating Box Drive

Dejon Lewis's picture

Navigating Box Drive

UCSF will be enabling Box Drive on 12-17-2019. Once Box Drive is installed, you will have comprehensive access to your Box files and folders (not just those you opt to sync) and potentially have more free space on your hard drive if you are currently syncing large amounts of content via Box Sync.

Before you run the Box Drive installer, please ensure that all of your Box Sync content is synced without any errors. You will know a file or folder has not synced correctly if its icon has a yellow or red circle displayed next to it. If you are experiencing syncing problems you can consult the Box Sync troubleshooting page here. Files with sync errors will be moved to a folder on your desktop called Archived and you will have to re-upload them to Box.

To begin your upgrade on a personal device, click here to navigate to the Box Drive download page and select the appropriate download option for your device’s operating system. Once downloaded, open the downloaded file to run the Box Drive installation. Once installation has completed, you will see a new Box icon on your desktop, as well as a new icon in your apps toolbar. Managed devices will have Box Drive pushed via Bigfix.






The first thing you will notice is that ALL of your Box files and folders now appear in your Box folder, not just those which you had previously selected to sync. Unlike with Box Sync however, these files and folders are not actually stored on your computer (including those which you may had previously synced) but are streamed directly from Box. As long as you have an internet connection, you can work with all your content directly from your desktop.


The second thing you will notice is that the dropdown menus that pop up when you right click on a file or folder gives you the same capabilities as the Box web app.

Folder Menu

If you right-click on a folder, you will find the dropdown menu now has four Box options: “View on,” “Make Available Offline,” “Create a Box Note,” and the sub menu “Share.”

“View on,” will open your computer’s default browser and navigate to your account on the Box web app.

For folders you access most often you can download the folder to your computer by right clicking it and selecting “Make Available Offline.” This feature is only available to use with folders. As with Box Sync, please use this feature sparingly as marking for offline will take up space on your hard drive, and if many files are being marked for offline access, they may slow down your system’s performance as they update.

If you hover your mouse over the “Share” sub menu, you will notice three new options: “Copy Shared Link,” “Email Shared Link,” and “Manage Collaborators.” The first option will copy a link to share the file with collaborators to your computer’s clipboard. The second option will open your computer’s default mail application. The last option will automatically open your default browser and navigate to your file or folder’s collaborator permissions menu.

You will also notice an option to “Create a Box Note” within the selected folder. Box Notes allow you to collaborate with others in real time on a document. However, take special care to NEVER include UCSF PHI in a Box Note file or create one in your [email protected] folder in which all files become encrypted. If CipherCloud detects PHI in your Box Note, it will automatically encrypt it. Unfortunately Box Notes are Box’s own web form file type. When CipherCloud downloads and decrypts the file, it cannot pass it back to the browser. If your Box Note becomes encrypted, neither UCSF IT nor Box support will be able to retrieve its information.

File Menu

If you right click on a file, you will see that it has three Box options: “View on,” “Lock File,” and “Share.”

“View on” will bring you to your file in your default browser. “Lock File” will allow you to block other collaborators from working on the file as long as you have this option selected, so as to avoid writing over each other’s work. Unlike the web app, in Box Drive you do not have the option to lock a file for a specific duration so be sure to unlock it once you are done making edits.